My Favorite Floribunda Rose, Our Lady of Guadalupe

As most of my friends know, I wasn’t a big fan of roses in the garden until I visited England in 2003. My tour’s stop at David Austin Roses’ headquarters will be the subject of another post, I promise, in part because I have any number of wonderful photos to share.

But here in the Washington DC area, finding roses that work well in the average garden without extra care is a challenge. There is, of course, the ubiquitous ‘Knockout Rose’ series, which have an extended bloom period and fewer problems with black spot (the bane of rose growing here) than other varieties. To me, they look best planted in groups and are not ideal candidates for cutting or up-close admiration. And hybrid teas, as beautiful as they are when at their best, require a lot of specialized care and have a growth habit I personally find somewhat awkward to incorporate into designed borders.

Rosa Our Lady of Guadaloupe, floribunda rose

The floribunda rose 'Our Lady of Guadalupe'

One of my clients, however, wanted some roses in her garden when we were designing it five or six years ago, and so I did some research and ended up planting a floribunda rose, ‘Our Lady of Guadaloupe,’ right outside her kitchen door. To say it has not disappointed is an understatement.

Floribunda roses are a cross between polyantha roses and hybrid teas. One of the first developed was “Gruss an Aachen,” which I saw at Broughton Castle in England in 2003. Our Lady of Guadalupe, like all floribundas, has small but prolific blooms that can cover the plant.

Rosa Our Lady of Guadalupe, roses, floribunda roses

A mass of the 'Lady of Guadalupe' roses in bloom on a single shrub in September

This ‘Lady’ begins blooming as early as April and is often going strong as late as October or November. Its blo0ms can rival those of any hybrid tea’s, in my book.

Rosa Our Lady of Guadalupe, floribunda rose

Both the buds and the mature flowers of Our Lady of Guadalupe are delightful despite their relatively small size.

Add a light, sweet scent and its relative resistance to black spot, and you have a great small shrub rose for the mixed border. My client grows it alone, surrounded by annuals for complementary summer color (blue salvia and white “Euphorbia Diamond Frost”) but it’s versatile enough to incorporate in other settings.

Want a different color? Here’s the floribunda rose ‘Eureka,’ growing at Brookside Gardens near me, in a glorious golden yellow hue.

Rosa floribunda Eureka, floribunda rose, Brookside Garden Rose Garden

Floribunda rose 'Eureka' blooming in May 2004 in the Rose Garden at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland

So if you haven’t made the acquaintance of this kind of rose, put it on your list for spring. A further bonus for planting the Lady of Guadalupe rose: Jackson and Perkins’ website indicates that the company  donates five percent of its net sales of this rose to Hispanic College Fund scholarships.

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4 Comments on “My Favorite Floribunda Rose, Our Lady of Guadalupe”

  1. Bill Rutledge Says:

    Roses are a challenge to grow here in Kentucky. For that reason I shy away from them. We have a large amount of ‘Knockout Roses’ but they are becoming boring to me. I have often wondered if there was a floribunda that would give me the qualities that I am looking for. This rose looks interesting.

    Thanks, Bill

    • Melissa Says:

      Dear Bill,
      I think growing roses in the south is a challenge indeed. That said, in addition to the floribundas you might want to look into some David Austin roses. When they decided to start an operation in the US, they chose Texas as their home base! In the same garden as the one where I took the photos of the Lady of Guadalupe, I’ve also planted the David Austin rose ‘Graham Thomas.’ Recently it seems to be petering out a bit for reasons we can’t determine but we had three or four seasons of beautiful blooms. The David Austins are crosses between old-fashioned roses and repeat-flowering modern roses. Some have scents, others don’t, but all are beautiful.

  2. H.Morgan Says:

    I grew roses in S.Carolina. don’t know why it would be hard in Kentucky.
    Be aware of excessive moisture that can cause a mold or fungus to start near the roots or under leaves.
    Presindente and perfect moment were the best.
    Good luck, H.Morgan

    • Melissa Says:

      Thanks for the recommendations. We know that overhead watering isn’t a good idea for roses and that irrigated beds aren’t ideal sites – certainly consistent with your observations. Thanks for writing.

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